ISLE of MAN – a great holiday venue too!
Having made the decision to go to the Manx Classic TT in August 2014 to support
Steve, fellow Oxford HOC member, and see the Isle of Man we booked everything
as soon as the ferry timetable came out early in the year. All we had to do now was wait. Not wanting to arrive weary we decided to
travel over Friday daytime, and get settled in ready for the week.
To get our bearings on Saturday we used the bus service to
go to Douglas and find out where the parking and Grandstand were located. We also saw the VMCC Parade Lap and the 500cc
Classic TT Race, for vintage bikes they were giving it their all – it was fantastic.
Sunday was a HOC/TVAM get-together ride to the Grandstand at
Douglas and then Steve led us around the circuit, which I am sure looked quite
different to him, thanks Steve much appreciated. I don’t think any of us realised how bumpy
those roads are at normal speeds
let alone flat out. At the far north of the island the Vintage
Motorcycle Club Rally was hosting the Festival
of Jurby which features a number of events celebrating
classic machinery. Anybody who owned a
motorcycle in the 50’s 60’s or 70’s would find many examples of their
bike. These bikes were not only on
display, most of them were being ridden/raced on the circuit.
Racing on Monday was cancelled due to the weather so we
decided to get a £16 public transport ticket which covered all IOM transport
and set off from Port Erin via Steam Railway to Douglas. Once in Douglas we used the Horse Tram which
runs along the Promenade to the Manx Electric Railway. Heading north on the Electric Railway which
stops at Laxey station we transferred to the Snaefell Mountain Railway which
took us up to ‘The Mountain’, which has a cafe at the top. After refreshments we back-tracked, it took
most of the day and was terrific value, and we met some characters.
There were several experienced marshals staying in our hotel
so we had up-to-date inside information of what was happening and when, also
the best places to be, everybody was really friendly. Racing was on for Tuesday so it was an early
start to the Grandstand to support Steve.
We saw Steve, Elaine & the team and other Honda members before the
race. As we all know, Steve did really well and qualified to race in the
Seniors TT on Friday.
In between the race days we did a bit of sightseeing, of
which there is plenty. Old castles &
costal villages & beaches. Old Laxey
beach was a real surprise, a big cove type beach with a long prom, there was
hardly anybody around, with a nice little cafe – the strawberry scones were to
die for! you couldn’t eat two. When we were riding around the island we came
upon several old British bikes riding in front of us, Keith was very content to
sit behind them for quite a few miles until they turned off just to be
transported back to the 60’s (if only), by the noise and smell. Most of the vintage bikes over there arrived
by van or trailer but they are used as they should be on these roads, and there
was a lot of them.
I think it was the final day we ended up at the Sound
Visitor Centre, which was not far from our base at Port Erin. It is a really mystical place looking across
to the Calf of Man, absolutely stunning.
There was a cafe there and it appeared to be a main biker meeting place.
The ferry company ran like clockwork, so
no worries there. ‘Manx Queenies’ as a
starter is so delicious I couldn’t decide whether the blue cheese & bacon
was better than the leek & cream so I’ll have to go back. All in all we have no reason not to go back! (see a few pictures here on the web too!)